Knock on WOOD

Funny thing about genealogy – the harder I search, the luckier I get.

My husband and I each have the surname Wood in the branches of our family tree and I’m trying to find out a little more about each of them. My husband’s mother’s paternal line is a Wood from Massachusetts for which we have information going back a few generations, while my mother’s paternal grandmother was a Wood from New York that I have little information on. I used Family Search and discovered a 1900 census with Bertha Wood from Burke, New York (census taken by a Mitchell, no less).

Bertha is 17 years old, eldest child (at least, at home). The census lists her siblings and parents.

From this census (only the second page) I was able to obtain the following information:

Bertha Wood was born in New York in March of 1883, the daughter of Frederick Wood and Sarah, each born in New York.  At the time of the census, Bertha is 17 years old, no longer in school and can read, write, and speak English. She has five younger siblings living at home (all born in NY) ranging in age from 11 to 1 yrs.

The page regarding HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD gives more information, that includes ages of parents and that they were married for about 19 years at the time (date of marriage 1881). It also gives Frederick’s date of birth as August 1841 and the birth place of his parents as Vermont.

Household Gender Age
Parent Frederick Wood M 60
Parent Sara Wood F
Bertha Wood F 17
Harrison Wood M 11
Ruby Wood F 8
Ruth Wood F 6
Dewey Wood M 2
Frances Wood F 1

Question raised: Were there other children who were not living at home either older than her or born between she and the 11 yr. old? I may be able to retrieve that information from an earlier census.

Bertha became the spouse of William W. Mitchell of Burke, New York.  They had the following children: Blance B., William, Ethel, Nelson B. & Donald. Nelson, was my grandfather. She came to Wrentham with her children to live with her second spouse, Jeremiah Cobb, on Madison Street. That is how our paternal Mitchell’s came to Massachusetts. She was buried with her first spouse in Burke, NY in 1955 having lived for 72 years.

Although I’ve found some answers, more questions are always raised. Now, I would like to find out the dates of Bertha’s marriages. I’m also wondering if her father served in the Civil War. So, the search continues and I hope I’ll be as “lucky”.


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